HC Deb 03 December 2002 vol 395 cc758-9W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what amount of the NHS budget has been spent on providing specialist treatment for people with dementia in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; [84856]

(2) what provision the NHS makes for specialist staff to treat people with dementia; and if he will make a statement; [84855]

(3)what plans he has to (a) develop specialist care and (b) to increase funding, for the treatment of people suffering from dementia; and if he will make a statement. [84857]

Jacqui Smith

[holding answer 2 December 2002]: The Government fully recognise the importance of ensuring that the needs of people with dementia and their carers are met. For that reason, the national service framework (NSF) for older people has set a standard and within this a service model that includes access to specialist care. NSF implementation will ensure that people with dementia receive the care and treatment they need. There are milestones to monitor progress.

The Government are making available by 2003–04 an extra £1.4 billion for new investment in better health and social services for older people. Older people with dementia will benefit from this new investment and the Government have confirmed its commitment to ensuring that, as appropriate, people with dementia receive drugs and treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Final decisions on funding for mental health in 2003–04 will be made soon as part of the work on primary care trust allocations and central budgets.

In 2001 there were 350 consultants in the old age psychiatry in England— most established services now have more than one. Following publication of the NSF for older people, the Department is examining the training needs of all staff working with people with dementia.

Information on national health service spending on specialist treatment for people with dementia is not available.